Mobile games are a major source of income for top video game developers in today’s market. Handheld devices have started gaining a lot more popularity in the last couple of years, showing that they can overtake even the most sophisticated contemporary game developers.
We are witnessing a rising trend of mobile video games that have been transferred from other devices. Future mobile gaming stats indicate that this trend will not stop and might continue developing at an exponential rate.
The times of simple games on phones are long gone. Playing Tetris or Snake was really fun back in the day. However, the games that we have now are much more advanced. The mobile gaming has grown to such heights that many of the most popular games are exclusively played on phones.
Because they are mobile, these games are limited to smartphones and tablets. As a consequence, mobile gaming statistics reveal that these types of games have an enormous marketing advantage. Today, developers are constantly looking to make games available on multiple platforms, but the most important ones are mobile devices.
Game developers are now heading toward a direction where the majority of the games have to appeal to the phone users. Some of the most popular games today are handheld, and the future is only going to confirm this trend. The reason for this is quite simple - the use of mobile devices is rapidly increasing every day.
Mobile gaming trends worldwide show that the development of handheld video games is at its very beginning and will further develop in the future. People are slowly moving away from PC and console games, as desktop VS mobile stats show. Only serious gamers are still loyal to a somewhat traditional approach to gaming. However, regular people find downloading a game from the app store and playing it on the phone much more appealing.
Let’s see some mobile gaming statistics which are sure to rattle your brain and change your perspective on the smartphone gaming industry today.
Mobile Gaming Stats (Editor's Pick)
- Mobile gaming apps accounted for 76% of all app revenue in 2018.
- Consumers will approximately spend $180.1 billion on games by 2021.
- 63% of mobile gamers are women.
- There are about 2.47 billion registered gamers worldwide in 2019.
- 60% of male gamers prefer using consoles.
Now that we have warmed up, let's dive in:
1. Global mobile gaming accounts for almost 50% of the entire global game market.
Based on the latest Newzoo research, the global game market is currently worth $134.9 billion. Of that sum, estimated mobile gaming shares incur about $63.2 billion. This means that the mobile game industry accounts for 47% of the income that video games make in the world.
2. Out of 2.2 billion gamers from around the world, 203 million live in the USA.
The gaming industry is developing at a rapid pace and doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. People from the United States are probably the most hardcore gamers on the planet, according to available video game statistics in America. For instance, out of 203 million people who play mobile video games, 56% play games more than 10 times a week.
3. In a span of a decade, mobile gaming is projected to become a $100 billion industry by 2021.
In the past several years, mobile gaming has developed to such an extent that people no longer view it as a niche hobby or a mere pastime. It has legitimately reached the heights of global phenomena. The gaming industry growth is predicted to rise by 30% in the period between 2012 (when it was considered the smallest gaming segment) to 2021.
4. Mobile gaming apps accounted for 76% of all app revenue in 2018.
The global gaming market has incurred a total of $137.9 billion in revenue in 2018. However, with an income of $70.3 billion, mobile gaming accounts for more than half of the video game industry revenue in 2018.
A lot of this revenue comes from heavy hitter games. For instance, Clash of Clans generated $37.83 million in global revenue in 2019.
5. Mobile gaming reached a record high revenue of $9.6 billion in the past 18 months.
According to VentureBeat, billions of players downloading and playing mobile games have created one of the most lucrative markets in the world. App Annie predicts that by the end of 2022, the total mobile install base will go well over 6 billion.
The present 2019 has been one of the most expanding years for the gaming industry, according to the latest mobile statistics, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.
6. The USA was the top country of mobile games session shares back in 2017.
Based on the research conducted by TechCrunch, the USA is the leading country when it comes to session shares. The US mobile gamers are taking up as much as 20% of the share back in 2017, and are only followed by India at 13%, according to the latest mobile gaming stats.
In the same year, mobile gamers in the US spent $309 on average on game purchases by playing Mobile Strike and $336 on Game of War.
7. 2.3 billion players spent $137 billion on games in 2018.
With the growth of the entire gaming industry and more streams available to the users, an opportunity is created for game developers to monetize their products and services. Global Game Market Report says that $137 billion has been spent in 2018 alone. This is a mobile gaming growth of 13.3%, or $16.2 billion, as opposed to last year.
8. Consumers will approximately spend $180.1 billion by 2021 on games.
The gaming market will continue to be a very important one in the years to come. However, mobile games are predicted to grow exponentially larger in use as opposed to PC and console games. Nevertheless, predictions say that this is not going to influence the PC nor the console game market.
Mobile games were once considered the smallest and youngest gaming market, but are now predicted to reach a $106.4 billion income in 2021. If we take into account both tablet and smartphone games, they will account for about 59% of the revenue of the entire mobile gaming market.
9. There are about 2.47 billion registered gamers worldwide in 2019.
A gamer is a relatively new term that rose into prominence with the development of the gaming industry. Today, a lot of people refer to themselves as gamers. It doesn’t matter if they use a console, a PC, or their mobile phones - a gamer is a gamer.
In 2014, there were approximately 1.82 million people worldwide who referred to themselves as gamers. Based on the latest video games industry statistics, this number jumped to 2.47 billion in 2019. Estimates predict that this number will continue to increase and that we will have about 2.7 billion gamers around the world by 2021.
10. Mobile gaming in the US is topping social media and TV.
Mobile gaming is quickly becoming America’s favorite pastime. No one could have predicted that people would start to value playing a mobile game more than using their social media accounts, particularly in the US.
However, according to Tapjoy’s mobile game statistics for 2019, about 69% of users in the USA say that they would rather give up their social media accounts than losing a favorite mobile game. This fact becomes even more relevant when we consider that 41% of those people do not mind in-game ads and are more likely to be influenced by them.
By contrast, 11% of people are influenced by online advertisements and 15% by ads found in magazines. That’s an impressive disparity, and it explains why mobile marketing reached $13.3 billion in 2020.
11. Mobile gaming demographics surprisingly lean toward female users.
What might surprise most is the fact that female mobile gamers surpassed male gamers in 2018.
However, while female users prefer playing mobile games, online platforms are still on the side of men at 38%. Nonetheless, this data shows a promising trend in statistics about women in technology and gaming in particular.
12. 62% of smartphone owners download gaming apps on their phone within the first week of getting it.
The mobile gaming industry takes advantage of a very simple premise when it comes to their users. New phones mean new opportunities and better services than before. A lot of new phone owners try out their newly bought devices by downloading a game. This is not related in any way to age groups as both children and adults have the same tendency.
13. Mobile game growth is most apparent in Asian countries.
If you have ever wondered who plays mobile games the most in terms of countries, the Asian market is the top one currently. Countries like Japan, China, and South Korea have fully embraced the mobile phone gaming craze.
Users in Asian countries prefer playing mobile over PC games. This trend is supported by the fact that Tencent, the Chinese entertainment company, earned $15.6 billion from online games as opposed to $2.13 billion that Blizzard Entertainment, a US game developer, earned in the same period.
14. Total mobile game advertising expenditures surpassed $70 billion in 2018.
Newzoo has calculated that the mobile games market size for 2018 was $70.3 billion. Further investigation has revealed that the amount of advertising for mobile games has reached $76 billion for the same period, according to research conducted by eMarketer. This number is likely to grow to $113 billion by 2020.
15. In 2018, Fortnite alone made an income of about $100 million per month.
With further development of mobile phones, battle royale games started gaining attention in the mobile gaming world. One of the most played mobile games are Fortnite and PUBG Mobile. Even with the revived success of AR technology, games like Jurassic World Alive and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the battle royale genre is still among the best-rated ones.
16. 63% of mobile gamers are women.
It has become clear that girls like playing mobile games much more than boys. Men account for only 37% of mobile device gamers on the market. However, further mobile gaming demographics studies have shown that out of all those girls who play video games on their phones, 60% are likely to play them every day. By contrast, 47% of male gamers play every day.
17. Mobile game income surpassed $50 billion in 2018.
Ever since 2012, when mobile games have surpassed PC games in revenue for the first time, the amount of money earned has been going up. Mobile game revenue statistics for the past three years show a sharp increase each year.
In 2016, the money incurred on mobile games was $38 billion. Next year, it jumped to $47.4 billion. In 2018, the number amounted to $ 54.7 billion. Data analytics say that the trend will continue and that the revenue is only going to go up with each passing year.
18. Cloud gaming could consume 50% of 5G data traffic by 2022.
In just a few years, operators estimate that about 25% to 50% of 5G traffic could be used for video games. These mobile gaming stats are not as incredible as you might think at first, simply because of the way cloud services have been developing in recent years.
Further trends predict that we are in for a big revolution after the 5G technology starts picking up and after its usage starts spreading worldwide. The 5G technology will first start picking up in the developed countries, but we still cannot predict if it will pick up the pace in developing ones.
19. Honor of Kings became one of the top grossing mobile games in the world.
According to Sensor Tower, Honor of Kings has become the top-grossing game in 2019, with a revenue of $87 million. It is followed by Arena of Valor, which jumped 9% in revenue last year alone. The third on the list is Perfect World, developed by the Chinese-owned Tencent, with an income of $65 million
20. Asia is the leader in the mobile game market revenue with $41.5 billion.
Latest global mobile gaming statistics in terms of revenue by region suggest that Asia has been leading the pack with $41.5 billion in 2018. The current revenue for 2019 stands at $40.5 billion, which will most likely grow further by the end of the year.
For comparison, North America incurred $9.8 billion in 2018, and this figure has already been surpassed in the present year with $10 billion. The same goes for Europe. The continent has gained $5.7 billion in 2018 and $6.6 billion so far in 2019.
21. Strategy and brain video games are predicted to increase revenue by $13.3 billion by 2023.
The strategy and brain video game genre is probably the fastest growing one based on the mobile game revenue by genre statistics. The income for these types of games in 2016 was $6.7 billion and is estimated to go up by $6.6 billion in the period of only seven years.
Other popular gaming genres include action & adventure, predicted to reach $10.3 billion by 2023, arcade games, which will most likely rise to $9.5 billion by the same year, and casual games, which will most likely incur $9.53 billion for the same period.
22. Mobile game revenue statistics in the US and Canada show a $9.37 billion income for 2018.
According to the newest Deconstructing Mobile and Tablet Gaming report made by Sensor Tower, 60% of Americans and Canadians play mobile phone video games. The survey included 5,000 active US and Canadian mobile device users of ages two or higher.
The report also concludes that a total of 283.1 million people in the US and Canada play mobile video games, which is a 5% year-over-year increase.
23. PUBG Mobile tops the chart of the most popular mobile video game in 2019.
According to Ranker.com, PUBG Mobile is currently one of the most popular mobile games, thanks to voters. At the moment, it tops the list with Minecraft being the second and Clash of Clans assuming the third spot.
On the other hand, Fortnite, Candy Crush, and Pokémon Go are some of the bestselling games on the market. Games that are trending and will gain more popularity over the course of time are Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, Roblox, and Vainglory
24. Another Eden is ranked as the best freemium games on the market.
The Android market is pretty large: its market share in the U.S. was 41.75% in 2019. But its gaming market is massive, too. In 2018, Android users installed 82 billion apps and games, so there is clearly a lot of interest in mobile gaming there.
In today’s Android game market, there are a lot of games that are labeled as free but still require you to pay for certain things. Even though downloading the game doesn’t cost anything, there are some in-app purchases that will require users to spend some money. These types of games are called freemium games.
When it comes to freemium games, Another Eden takes the first spot on the list. Games that come after it in ranking include Aito’s Odyssey, Asphalt 9: Legends, and Brawl Stars.
25. Newest mobile gaming trends indicate that smartphones will become proxies to PCs and consoles.
Many experts predict that smartphones will become proxies to consoles. When it comes to choosing between a new mobile phone and a new device for playing video games, users will gladly go for a new mobile phone instead of a new entertainment device.
The choice is rather obvious as a new phone brings a lot more than any gaming device could. Getting a new console means that you can primarily play games. However, phones give us much more, like accessing the internet and your social media accounts, and on top of it playing video games.
26. Newest regulatory reforms in China will keep much of game developers away.
People often ask themselves how big is the gaming industry in China? The simple answer is – pretty big! Unfortunately, not a lot of foreign developers will be able to utilize the growth in popularity of mobile games in the Chinese market due to recent regulatory reforms that have been introduced in this country.
Foreign companies have to follow the proposed committee standards in order to release their games in the Chinse market, and let’s not forget that there are many established domestic developers there which already have a hold on it.
Mobile gaming industry analyses indicate that venturing in this market would be highly lucrative but it would also require added investment and resources. Not a lot of companies are willing to risk it, so it is predicted that only the strongest ones and developers with the most popular video games in the world are going to attempt to compete on the Chinese market.
27. In 2018, developers created 53% of games for PC and Mac.
Mobile game statistics for 2018 say that more than half of the games created that year were for PC or Mac. On the other hand, 38% of them were for smartphones and tablets, while 27% were for PS4/PRO.
28. Hyper-casual gaming is taking over.
One of the recent trends in the gaming industry is hyper-casual gaming. This essentially means creating games that revolve around repetitive and addictive basic gameplay. It usually includes going through levels that get harder as the player’s ability advances.
Mobile gaming popularity will mostly depend on the creation of these types of games in the future. Casual fans prefer playing simple games which are easy enough for them but hard enough for real gamers.
Good examples of hyper-casual games include Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Temple Run, and Paint Hit. We all know how addictive and popular these games are, judging by stats on smartphone addiction.
29. 60% of male gamers prefer using consoles.
It is true that the numbers for mobile gamers by gender have started to lean more towards women in recent times. According to Statista, the ratio was 62% vs. 38% in favor of men in 2006. However, the latest numbers show a completely different story - 54% vs. 46% in favor of women.
Trends indicate that the number of female mobile gamers will continue to grow as the years pass. Nevertheless, men still prefer using other gaming devices more compared to women. Even 60% of male gamers use consoles, while the number goes even higher to 64% when it comes to PCs.
30. Popular PC and console games translated into mobile form.
One of the mobile game trends in 2018 that swept the world was translating existing PC and console games a into mobile format. Since smartphones reached the level of sophistication that was needed to play advanced video games on them, it was easy for this trend to happen.
But what’s more important is how users adapted to this trend. Many consumers have even switched from playing their favorite games on consoles and PCs to hand-held devices.
31. A survey by Tapjoy reveals that 60% of respondents identify themselves as gamers.
According to a survey made by Tapjoy, 60% out of 18,000 participants revealed themselves as gamers. This is an increase of 26% compared to the same survey done in 2017. It also reveals that advanced mobile gamer demographics have three important groups: millennials, parents, and high-income gamers.
The interviewed people also confessed that gaming was what they commonly use their mobile phones for. Surprisingly enough, they even played games more than texting or chatting, which were the other activities that they used their mobile devices for.
32. Call Of Duty Mobile shows us how the future of gaming might look like.
As revealed at this year’s E3, the 2019 mobile game trends mainly revolved around transferring PC and console games to mobile devices. One of the biggest names to do so was Call of Duty Mobile which completely transferred the game to mobile, even using old familiar levels that hardcore gamers will most likely recognize.
Developers reveal and even web developers agree that this is going to be the future of gaming and that we might expect more familiar titles to do so in 2020. Generally speaking, big franchises are now looking to go on small screens.
Why are Mobile Games Important in Today’s Industry?
People can see how important mobile video games are just by comparing the present mobile game revenue with that of the past. Mobile gaming has increased in all aspects, and is not only dictating the industry now but is also setting up trends for the future.
Many indications lead us to conclude that users are steadily transferring to mobile games and perhaps will drop other devices completely. This is only indicative for gaming devices, of course, as other devices with a different use (business or health, for example) will retain their popularity.
Even though mobile gaming in 2019 does not indicate that consoles and PCs are being overrun by mobile games yet, the future certainly says that one day they might do so. Nevertheless, this industry remains one of the more lucrative ones for developers to invest in, and there is no doubt that we will see new companies and developers start to emerge soon.
Companies that learn how to predict well future trends and utilize knowledge that mobile gaming stats provide will surely be the first to jump on the bandwagon and lead the future of mobile gaming.